Wranglers Homecoming and Game 2015
A Time so Good it Might Have Been True
by Terry Allen
November 5, 2015
Homecoming morning in Pinedale had the Wranglers at an early practice. One young man caught 18 of 20 practice passes from Coach Johnson…with his eyes closed. "Uh oh," reporter said to himself while scribbling in his notebook: "Things might not go well for Wright."
A dance troupe on the sidelines practiced Thriller moves for the half-time show…making scary faces and doing the limp zombie hands thing.
Over at American Legion Park, floats from around town were lining up. Kids crawled over the floats with duct tape, busily re-attaching cardboard, ribbons and Star Wars fighters that had come loose on the road and highway trip to the park. Late into the night, Aisha Auradou had worked on a Star Wars float in a shed at the Pinedale Lumber Company. "It was such a big project we were afraid it wouldn’t get done in time," she said. "That ship is literally held together with duct tape and hope."
Sheriff Haskell and Trooper Huffman stood on the corner talking. At 10:00 AM, the sheriff’s radio crackled and he and trooper Huffman raced to their vehicles to lead the parade.
Three high school girls carrying big waving flags led the way down Pine Street. Behind them, several huge groups of elementary aged kids dressed in green and orange swarmed down the street like a lemming migration. There seemed to be hundreds of them all the same size.
Behind them came the floats and three of them were carrying the royalty from each high school class.
The route was lined with townspeople and their children. Someone must have been throwing treats along the way because several children proudly displayed bags filled with candy.
Finally, emergency vehicles and first responder units brought up the rear of the parade to end the morning event.
The tailgate party at the stadium started at 4:00. The FFA was a smashing success with their fresh off the flaming grill burgers and dogs with all the trimmings. Rex Hamner declared them FREE if you wore green…and even if you didn’t but proclaimed your inner green-ness.
There was some sort of fundraiser at the basketball table. No product visible, but a student fanned a huge wad of greenbacks, so it must have been a success. A dramatically face-painted young man kept busy painting the faces of all comers…including little ones who came and perched on the table. Another table sold a selection of delicious baked goods baked by a girl with a broken leg and her two friends.
In the late afternoon sun sat mother and daughter Paravacini, each happily eating their burgers.
A couple pink girl pigs came by and said they were going to be pigs for Halloween, but since their costumes came in the mail early, they decided to wear them to the game because they were so comfy.
Josh Criddle and one of his three football playing sons had a pre-game huddle in the stands…and an energetic cheer team practiced building human pyramids and trustfully jumping into their team mate’s arms.
The team buses from Wright arrived and eagerly waved out the windows. Team managers Audrey and Ginny posed for a photo and said they loved their job.
Just about sundown, Team Wright ran onto the field like Legends in Silhouette.
The game started at 7:00 PM and for the first half it looked like a fairly good contest. The half ended with the score in favor of Pinedale at 16-6.
At halftime, several Pinedale players ran off the field and grabbed their band instruments then ran back on to play tubas, saxophones and assorted other instruments. There was a Parent Promenade and proud parents and their football playing son’s walked a gauntlet of fellow players giving and receiving congratulations along the way.
The game started again with Tuba, Sax and French horn players lined up against Wright. Wright held Pinedale to just 6 more points in the 3rd quarter while not scoring any of their own. In the fourth quarter Pinedale scored twice more and Wright once more, but the game ended at 36-12 for a big Pinedale win.
Especially worthy of note was the performance of junior varsity quarterback who replaced the injured Criddle at the end of the 1st quarter. He threw for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Caleb Raney had a banner night running for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
Apologies to all those involved in the other homecoming activities I was not able to cover.
For corrections or to purchase prints, contact Terry Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.